I don’t usually write about politics, but I’ve been a poitical junkie since the days of the white’s only elections, avidly following the swings between the HNP and CP, or Dennis Worral’s breakaway party and the PFP.
Sadly it’s the state of Western Cape politics that’s drawn me to write, and the lack of any kind of in-depth investigative reporting about what’s going on.
Politicians here like to claim that the Western Cape has the highest literacy rate, standard of living and so forth in South Africa, and to claim credit for that.
Unfortunately the only thing they get credit for is the dismal state of Western Cape politics.
Much of it comes down to the demise of the NNP. Unfortunately, demise didn’t mean the end of all those associated with it. Instead, they’ve infested the other parties, who all happily embrace their new loyal members as they jockey for power.
The DA has been the primary ‘beneficiary’, and as a result we’ve been blessed with such illustrious premiers as Pieter Marais and Gerald Morkel. And they want us to take them seriously after that?
Then there’s the ID. As a new party, and trading on Patricia de Lille’s squeaky clean reputation (notwithstanding any porn shockers), they also accepted just about anyone from the NNP, and it got them a reasonable level of support in the Western Cape. Lennit Max (who I don’t think was ever in the NP, but did join the police in 1980) was happily appointed as the ID’s western cape leader. After things went sour, he’s suddenly accused of having worked for the “apartheid police”, something they should have thought of first. Now apparently he’s stalling the partie’s legal proceedings against him. He needs to prove he’s a loyal ID member so that he can keep his seat when he moves to the DA after the floor-crossing begins. Does the DA actually want him after this? Yet another lying politician, but I suppose they think our standards are so low that we don’t care that much.
What about the ANC? Provincially, they also happily took onboard many NNP members after the NNP split from the DA, and it secured them power in the Western Cape. Ex-NNP leader Marthinus van Schalkwyk is to my surprise proving a reasonable national environment minister, his carrot for leading his party across. However, the ANC in the Western Cape seems as sick as their counterparts. Ebrahim Rasool seemed to be doing a reasonable job as Western Cape leader, with a focus on delivery, but the ANC has been divided, and a so-called Africanist faction has ousted him as party leader, although he’s still premier. Investigative journalism into the reason for the split seems non-existent, as I haven’t yet seen a single good reason for why this happened. The Africanist label means nothing – both factions seem as racially mixed, but the press seems to have nothing else to go on. All I see is a dirty power struggle, with any sort of efficient delivery being a distant afterthought.
As for the city of Cape Town, the ANC gained power there too, thanks to the NNP members, but all we see for it are a barrage of allegations of nepotism, corruption and cronyism. Mcebisi Skwatsha (of the ‘Africanist’ faction) is embroiled in these allegations, with two companies in dodgy procurements linked to him. The mayor’s special advisor writes on a website that coloureds are drunkards and culturally inferior to blacks. Has he been slipped something by the DA to wrote something so politically suicidal to the ANC?
Everything is so cloaked in secrecy it almost makes the old NP look good. I’m usually not in favour of centralisation of power. But when the local lot are a bunch of incompetent power-hungry bafoons, it’s useful to have them hauled across the coals, as they have been by the central ANC this week.
So, this sorry lot are our esteemed leaders. Gag.